In the active Gaucho's Gym, with the action of the Big Strick Classic roaring in the background, the Rumble's Kenneth Garner caught up with Richard Freudenberg, a 6'8" forward in the class of 2016 who is visiting a select set of high-major NCAA schools, including St. John's, where he concluded an official visit tonight.
"[The visit] has been great," Freudenberg said. "I met with the whole coaching staff [and] the academic advisor.... I'm looking for good academics and a good school basketball-wise where I can develop my game."
For Freudenberg, the academic aspect is key. When speaking to Draft Express earlier this week after the Under-18 European Championship tournament, the forward noted that his family wants him to get an education - which is what makes the NCAA an attractive option as opposed to the European professional system, which emphasizes basketball over studies.
But on the court, Freudenberg is a 16-year old (he turns 17 on August 31) with potential to be a matchup problem.
"The main aspect of my game is that I'm versatile," noted Freudenberg, who said he can play and defend "shooting guard, power forward."
Richard Freudenberg is slim and in need of more development. Right now, the wing from Heidelberg, Germany, is a scorer and shooter for the German squads he plays on (including Bayern Munich's under-18 team and the German under-18 side) whose potential is still coming.
In the European Championship, he averaged five points per game and three rebounds, averaging 19 minutes per game for a German side that lost its last five games against some of the big basketball powers of Europe (twice against France, twice against Spain, once against Lithuania). He scored a high of 13 points against the Czech Republic, but overall struggled shooting from outside (going 7/25, 28%).
"It's always good to play against the best players in Europe," he said, despite the results. Freudenberg also noted that he needs to work on his ballhandling (1.7 turnovers per game vs .2 assists per game in the European Championship) and his body, which is up to 187 pounds, but will need to pack on more muscle for him to play the stretch-four position, which takes advantage of his skill set.
And how did he like his visit?
"It's good," Freudenberg said. "[I came to New York] last year, on vacation - it's nice, I like New York."
The live periods are finished, and prospective college ballers are setting up their visits; but many took the time to step on the court for the Big Strick Classic at Gauchos Gym, an all star game pitting the region's best against some of the nation's best [check back later this weekend for more interviews].
Can Freudenberg join that future list of impact freshmen in a year - in a St. John's jersey?
The Johnnies got the second crack at convincing him after Vanderbilt earlier this week. He's headed up to Boston College for a visit, and then back to Germany.
While he also has Texas and Gonzaga on his list, St. John's is in the mix as one of his leaders. Can he be a part of Chris Mullin's rebuilding class?